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Start-Ups Look to the Crowd (New York Times)

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Need to fund an idea or want to be a venture capitalist? Kickstarter can make either dream come true. Just three years old, the online site lets ordinary people pitch an idea to ordinary people willing to pledge their money. Just two hours after posting their project on the site, Eric Migicovsky and his partners had reached their goal of $100,000 for a wristwatch capable of displaying information from an iPhone. Now, almost 50,000 people have pledged over $7 million to the project. Migicovsky and his partners still own 100% of their company; pledgers will get a watch for their $99, and Kickstarter takes 5% from successful campaigns. To date, the site has raised over $200 million for 20,000 projects, or about 44% that sought financing. Only projects that meet their stated financing goals receive money.